Strategy’s most read of 2018: Shopper Marketing Report

The most attention grabbing retail and shopper stories from the last year.

CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION- LIMITED-Canadian Tire gives its quint

It’s that time of year, when strategy runs down the list of stories our readers were most interested in over the previous year as a way to look back at the trends that shaped the industry. Today, we’re looking at the most read retail and shopper stories from our Shopper Marketing Report. Once you’re done, read up on the most read stories from the Strategy Tech and C-Suite newslettersour coverage of the lead-up to cannabis legalization and this year’s Olympic campaigns. Check back in the days ahead to see the rest of the news that turned heads in 2018.

Canadian Tire launches Triangle Rewards

The loyalty landscape in Canada was full of activity in 2018, from the Air Canada-Aeroplan acquisition to new offerings from a range of different retailers and QSRs. One of those new offerings was Triangle Rewards, a program from Canadian Tire that followed the example of Loblaw’s PC Optimum, giving participants the ability to earn and redeem points across Canadian Tire-owned banners, including Sport Chek, Mark’s and Atmosphere, as well as Gas+ locations. It replaced the previous My Canadian Tire Money and Canadian Tire Options programs, with the hope that offering the ability to participate at more retailers would help expand the appeal of the program and provide more utility for members.

“Guilt-free” ice cream category heats up with CoolWay  and Halo Top

CoolWayIn 2017, Halo Top – an ice cream brand that boasts less sugar and more protein than the competition, as well as under 100 calories per serving – became the top-selling ice cream pint in the U.S., beating out legacy players like Nestlé, Häagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry’s and Chapman’s. That stateside buzz carried Halo Top to a Canadian launch early this year. But all the attention around “guilt-free” ice cream also gave Canadian brand CoolWay a chance to re-exert its presence in the category, launching a rebranding and handful of new flavours weeks after Halo Top’s Canadian launch and debuting its first campaign over the summer.

Maple Leaf launches a “real food” manifesto

mapleleaftitlecardMaple Leaf announced the biggest change in its 100-year history in 2018 when it promised that by year’s end, none of its products will include artificial preservatives, flavours, colours or sweeteners, a change that covered 120 SKUs and came with a complete rebrand, new packaging and a return to mass, multi-platform campaigns, handled by agency partner Sid Lee. The reformation and repositioning was largely based on research and interviews conducted with more than 10,000 Canadian consumers, revealing how much they valued transparency and simplicity around ingredients, especially when it came to meals prepared for the family. The repositioning also came to its Schneiders brand, with a campaign that focused on indulgent foods and artisan crafting methods, more suited to entertaining with friends.

Uniqlo recreates online shopping in the physical world

IMG_2962Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has been slowly expanding its presence since coming to Canada in 2016, opening its ninth location in November. Its Canadian entry has been focused on large urban centres, but its ecommerce site and recently launched app gives customers who don’t live within driving distance of a store access to its products. To promote its online offering and drive further brand awareness, Uniqlo created a pop-up store that aimed to recreate the experience of shopping Uniqlo online, with displays set up to look like product pages. If you wanted to buy a product, you couldn’t do so on-site, but scannable codes made it easy to find it on the app instantly.